- Lord Mayor welcomes winning team to mark Premier League promotion
- Civic celebration for squad and manager on the Council House balcony
- 25,000 people gather in Old Market Square
- City welcomes important legacy that top tier football will bring
There were jubilant scenes in Old Market Square yesterday when thousands of people gathered to celebrate Nottingham Forest’s promotion to the Premier League for the first time in over twenty years.
An estimated crowd of 25,000 fans were treated to players appearing on the Council House balcony above a ‘We are Premier League’ banner to show off the Championship Play Off Trophy following their historic 1-0 victory over Huddersfield on Sunday (29 May). Forest fans have waited 23 years for this moment – with their team pulling off this incredible achievement having languished at the bottom of the Championship league at the beginning of the season just a few months ago.
The triumphant players were greeted with thunderous cheers, applause and chants from their adoring fans after a formal Civic Reception with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Cllr Wendy Smith, and the Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, Mel Barrett. The squad was joined in the Council House ballroom on Monday (30 May) by manager Steve Cooper and owner Evangelos Marinakis.
Fans filled every available corner of Old Market Square and were treated to more than 45 minutes of public appearances by the squad along with music and interviews with the BBC’s longstanding sports presenter Colin Fray who commentated on the Wembley match and celebrity Reds fan Matt Forde. The scenes of celebration were overlooked by the Brian Clough statue which takes pride of place in the Square to commemorate Nottingham Forest’s legendary manager.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It was so wonderful to share this historic moment with so many people in Nottingham and to formally congratulate the team on their return to the Premier League.
“They achieved a great victory in the Championship Play-off Final against Huddersfield, the culmination of an incredible season – and it is right that we took a moment to celebrate this remarkable achievement.
“I am thrilled that the club has secured Premier League status for the first time since 1999. It means so much to everyone connected to the club as well as to Nottingham residents and to the many thousands of fans in the UK and around the world.”
Promotion to the Premier League is expected to bring more visitors and more income into the city – which coincides with Nottingham’s ongoing regeneration work and investment plans.
Cllr Mellen said: “What this means for the club and for our city cannot be understated. Premier League football is watched by millions of people around the world. All eyes will once again be on Nottingham. Beyond the sheer pride and joy that promotion brings, having a team in the Premier League offers the local economy a huge boost.
“It will see hundreds of thousands of additional visitors coming to the city – supporting our shops, our hospitality, our hotels and our businesses – with an estimated value of up to £170m.
“Nottingham is a vibrant Core City with the right infrastructure to build on this success. I look forward to a bright future for the club and for Nottingham as a whole.”